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Shirt collar band woes

Belair108 | Posted in General Discussion on

I am applying a shirt collar with a band, and am having this problem ONCE AGAIN. I was careful not to stretch anything, pinned carefully, stay stitched – the whole thing. It is a small plaid. The band is smaller than the neckline. I unsewed the front band and ironed it flat and I’m about to refold the band to make it fit. Fortunately it is the button band.
But it got me to thinking how I could avoid this in the future. (this one is a Kwik Sew where you make the collar, then apply both the bands to the collar then sew the outer band on first, from seam to seam, then turn under the remaining uninterfaced band and topstitch. It seems to me that this requires a lot more precision that I am prepared for.)
Help me think this out.
What if I don’t cut the curve on the collarband until I am ready to apply it to the neckline then sew the curve and trim to fit? ANyone see any difficulties with this?

Edited 5/15/2007 12:29 pm ET by Belair108


  1. Gloriasews | | #1

    I had that problem with a man's shirt.  In frustration, I finally measured the neck & recut the band the right length to meet both centre fronts.  The band should be about 1" longer than each end of the collar, so that it meets exactly the centre fronts.  (I also put iron-on interfacing in the band, as they droop otherwise).  Hope this helps you. 

    Edited 5/16/2007 2:24 pm by Gloriasews

    1. Belair108 | | #3

      Gloria, do you find it better to interface the inner or outer band?


      1. Gloriasews | | #5

        The inner band.  I also interface the collar & cuffs - the outer part that shows, as that's where you want the smoothness.  Hope that helps.  How did the cutting go for the main shirt?

        1. Belair108 | | #6

          Turned out just fine. From three feet away it looks great. It was for my 15 yo grandson. He'll probably mostly wear it as an overshirt, and I don't think his mom will iron it anyway, but it was great practice for perfecting my shirt skills.

          1. cafms | | #7

            If you are still looking for help and information on shirts look for David Page Coffin's book called Shirtmaking.  It is a Taunton publication.  I found mine on Amazon.  It has some really good information on everything from choosing fabric to fit to making your own pattern and then the construction.  I've been making shirts for my husband and sons for more than 30 years now and found it very helpful and interesting to read. 

          2. Belair108 | | #11

            I did buy Coffin's Shirtmaking Book, and read it two or three times to make sure I had a basic understanding, but I don't yet have the courage to draft my own pattern yet. My husband has a large neck, a wide mid back from mild scoliosis I think, and short arms. Did I mention he HATES stiff store bought collars?

          3. solosmocker | | #8

            There is a saying in the heirloom sewing world. "If you can't see it on a galloping horse, don't worry about it!."I second the recommendation on Coffin's book. It is a great reference.

            Edited 5/18/2007 3:12 pm ET by solosmocker

          4. Crazy K | | #9

            OMG...........my mom used to say that to me (the teen perfectionist!) all the time...........about the galloping horse!!  LOL  Hadn't thought of that one for a long time!!

          5. Gloriasews | | #10

            That was fast shirt-making!  Good for you!  Another skill learned.  Did you keep a copy of the pattern that you finally ended up with?  (Comes in handy if you'll make him a shirt again for Christmas or birthday). 

            I really like Solosmocker's quotation about the galloping horse, too.  I'd never heard that one before - a good one, that I'll have to remember when I'm being such a perfectionist, too!   Happy sewing!

  2. Teaf5 | | #2

    Was the collar band on the bias? If not, it would have less give than the neckline edge, which is nearly all bias. Staystiching keeps the neck seamline from stretching so much, but it can't eliminate all the give in what is essentially an oval.With a plaid, a bias collar band and bias collar might get a little too busy, so it might be a good idea to cut the collar band a little longer than you think you will need. Leave the center front seam allowances untrimmed until you've sewn the collar & band onto the shirt; it's easy to let out a few stitches and re-sew the front edge of the band if you haven't trimmed those seam allowances already.

    1. Belair108 | | #4

      That's going to be my standard method from now on. I do that now with waistbands.

      Edited 5/16/2007 9:48 pm ET by Belair108

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